APOLLO BEACH, Fla. — Construction will begin soon at The Florida Aquarium’s Center for Conservation in Apollo Beach. The $6 million project will feature new greenhouses, a new lab and a new visitor center. 

The new space will also expand the Aquarium's ongoing “Project Coral.” Last month, scientists at the center successfully induced spawning of endangered Atlantic pillar coral.

The offspring are now growing in a tank in a greenhouse on the property. More tanks will be added once the additional greenhouses are built, which will allow for more coral to be housed and bred. 

“We’re going to about quadruple the number of Project Coral rooms so we can do a lot more of this induced spawning, which is very exciting,” said Amber Whittle, Director of Conversation.

“We can grow tens of thousands of more corals than we currently are. We are simply limited by the number that will fit in our tanks and the number of people we have to take care of them,” said Keri O’Neal, Senior Coral Scientist at The Florida Aquarium.

The expansion is expected to be complete in 2021.